Teaching Safe Boating

Navigation, Sailing and Power Boat courses

Gulf Islands Cruising School Ltd since 1980   Sidney BC

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We invite your questions by email.  We will post them and the answers on this page for the benefit of everyone.

I need some gift ideas for a boater.  Any suggestions?

Yes, we have suggestions on our Gift Basket Ideas pageFran's Gift Basket Blog has additional suggestions.

Where is Sidney, B.C.?
Sidney is located on Vancouver Island approximately 45 minutes north of Victoria which is the capital city of B.C.
How do I arrive at Sidney, B.C.?
The Victoria International Airport as well as the BC Ferry and Anacortes Ferry Terminals are within fifteen minutes drive. 
I’m a total newbie – where do I start?
You may take a Basic course, either
Sail or Power and the Coastal Navigation course.

I just purchased my first boat, can you help me?
Certainly, I specialize in assisting new boat owners.  If you need assistance in handling your vessel, learning your vessel's systems and navigational equipment, pre-departure checks and basic maintenance I can help. 

Do I need a license to operate a boat?
As of 2002, any person operating any powered recreational boat less than 4 metres (including personal watercraft) must provide proof of competency.  As of September 15, 2009 any person operating any powered recreational boat must have proof of competency.

What qualifications do I need to charter a boat?
Previous experience on tidal waters in a similar sized boat and/or the CYA
Intermediate Cruising or Intermediate Powerboat, plus Coastal Navigation and/or CPS Boating course or equivalent.

Can you answer "YES" to the following questions?

  • Am I confident handling a boat of this size in tidal waters?
  • Have I the navigational skills to safely pilot a boat?
  • Do I have copies of any certification showing my qualifications?

I have chartered a boat.  Do you have any suggestions for an itinerary?

First day - the quaint settlement of Fulford Harbour on Saltspring Island or anchor at Portland Island.

Second day - Bedwell Harbour on South Pender Island.  If you are lucky the Dall Porpoises may play around the bow of the boat as you cross Boundary Pass.  Either stay at Beaumont Marine Park on a mooring or at anchor or docked at Poets Cove Resort.  Time for a shower and a swim in the outdoor pool.

Third day - cruise to Montague Harbour Marine Park on Galiano Island.  If the winds are light or you want a short day, you could stay the night at Otter Bay Marina on North Pender Island.

Fourth day - Ganges Harbour on Saltspring Island.  Ganges is the largest town in the Gulf Islands.  Be sure to check out the Craft Fair and all the shops.  If you have a sweet tooth stop at "Glad's Candy & Ice Cream Shop”.

Fifth day - anchor in Glenthorne Passage on Prevost Island.

Sixth day - dock at Fulford Harbour on Saltspring Island or anchor in Royal Cove on Portland Island, whichever one you missed on the first day.

Seventh day - return to the Marina.

What are some other destinations in the Gulf Islands?
See The Boating Forum - Destinations

How many people am I allowed to have on board a boat?
Usually the number of persons should not exceed the number of berths.

What months do you operate?
We operate year round.  The most popular months are April to September.

Is fishing available?
Certainly!  See our fishing page.

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